In F9, a key flashback to the prison in Los Angeles reveals how Dom met two heroic fan-favorite characters from the Fast & Furious franchise.

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for F9, now in theaters.

In the Fast and Furious movies, as much as Dom (Vin Diesel) has his usual crew, he also has a few guys on hold that he can call to help save the day. The two most prominent are Leo (Tego Calderón) and Santos (Don Omar), and fans love their free-spirited vibe, arrogance, and overall energy as street runners. Dom made a life within the Dominican Republic. Now come F9, audiences learn exactly how they met the duo and how they played bigger roles in their destiny than was originally supposed.

Leo and Santos have been there when Dom needs them the most. They helped him extract oil and sell it to make millions and help the poor in Fast and Furious. This event showed just how efficient they were as a crew, which goes back even further to Bandits, where they got Leo out of jail and staged this particular heist.

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They also helped with Rio’s mischief in Fast five, infiltrating a police station and proving that they are masters of disguise. It is true that they play too much. However, they show up in a big way when Dom needs to rescue his son from Cipher in The fate of the furious, adding numbers and leveling the playing field.

Weather F9 dives deep into the flashback sequences, it’s a surprise to learn when and where Dom met the duo. After Dom hit the driver who caused the accident that killed his father, he was sent to a Los Angeles prison. There, he killed time fixing cars and chatting with Leo and Santos in the garage. They talked about the harsh realities of people of color and how they were profiled, which landed them in jail.

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It was a nice change of pace for Dom, who started to let go of his anger. However, Leo and Santos pointed out a failure in the engine he was working on, revealing key clues that illuminated him about his father’s death. Dom realized that his father’s engine had been tampered with, and the pit mechanic involved was his brother, Jakob. The revelation prompted Dom to compete with his brother and banish him after being released from prison. He hated Jakob, but little did he know, his father asked Jakob to sabotage him so they would lose the race and pay off their debts. Unfortunately, they could not predict the accident that was coming.

That said, this makes Leo and Santos even more important. They are dominoes that put Dom on his way to Brian and the spy team and helped Jakob atone. It’s an iconic friendship that viewers had no idea that it possessed such nuance, and it’s all because they were stopped by ignorant cops.

Directed by Justin Lin, F9 stars Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, John Cena, Nathalie Emmanuel, Jordana Brewster, Sung Kang, Helen Mirren, Kurt Russell, and Charlize Theron. The movie is in theaters now.

KEEP READING: What’s next for the Fast & Furious franchise after F9?

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